Melissa Martyr Wagner
Director of Operations, NewStudio Architecture


Melissa Martyr-Wagner’s education includes a BA in Journalism, Advertising and an MS in Higher Education. In 2011, after having worked for Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota, she and her husband, Sean Wagner, left their jobs to launch together NewStudio Architecture, where she is the Director of Operations. Free time?  Not only does she work with her husband, she sails with him on White Bear Lake. She also enjoy waves and water most anywhere from the Midwest to the Caribbean, as well as yoga and barre classes…and, she’s trying to get better at tennis and cross-country skiing. Melissa is one of the founders of Lakes International Language Academy (LILA), K-12 in Forest Lake. She went on to serve, as well as lead, this highly successful charter school’s board of directors, and later its foundation.  Founded in 2014 and starting with 174 students, the school’s enrollment is now over 1,300 in updated facilities on two campuses in Forest Lake.

She loves supporting her community – and organizations like the White Bear Center for the Arts, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Solid Ground,  White Bear Lake Area Historical Society, and, of course, Century College.

“Century College truly is one of the most remarkable assets of our community and I’m very proud to serve on its Foundation. I am always happy to proselytize with friends, or when I’m networking, of the many successes, stories, and results of Century,” explains Melissa, “My son is just finishing in the paramedic program-so I learn a lot about his experience. And, when I’m on campus I always run into high school and college students I know from the White Bear Lake and Forest Lake schools. I love, as a Foundation member, knowing about the data-informed results and the community impact of Century– but, it is the students who move me. Knowing about their academic stories and journeys always moves me to want to do more.”


Russ Fleming
Partner, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP


Bio coming soon.


Vice President

Barbara Sheldon
Relationship Manager, Alerus Financial


Bio coming soon.


John Channon
FocalPoint Business Coaching & Training


John Channon owns and operates a FocalPoint Business Coaching and Training franchise. He has 25 years of experience in business leadership, business development, sales, marketing, people development and profitability management. He currently serves as a Rotarian and a St. Paul SCORE mentor. Otherwise, you can find him reading, skiing, golfing and gardening depending on the season. John holds a BA in Chemistry and an MBA in General Management. During school, Century College becomes one of the most diverse locations in the Twin Cities, he finds that inspiring.


Kay Baker
Director, Community Relations, Health East (retired)


Kay retired from HealthEast (now M Health Fairview) as Director, Community Relations. She and her husband have 3 children and six grandchildren and spend some of their time at their home in Duluth on Lake Superior or in Florida. Kay has always been passionate about lifelong learning, and continues to take classes at a senior program at the University of St Thomas. She would love to start something similar at Century. She attended the University of Minnesota.

Richard Brainerd
Retired HR Consultant, Mahtomedi City Councilperson


Richard Brainerd served as a Human Resources Director, Consultant and Educator where he dedicated his talents for over 40 years.

When Richard is not traveling, cycling and birdwatching with his wife Mary, he is serving on many community boards, as a City Council member and spending time with his grandchildren.

Richard holds a degree in Business & Economics from the University of Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership Greensboro, NC.

Richard believes that education is essential to the wellbeing of our society, and that Century College is committed to transforming lives through an innovative, and compassionate approach to education.

Jewelie Grape
Attorney, J. Grape Law, PLLC


Jewelie Grape provides legal advice to companies and non-profit organizations on matters related to employee benefits, human resources and other important business issues.

Jewelie has several decades of experience in legal, corporate and non-profit matters. She has worked in large law firms, advising corporate and non-profit clients on ERISA, employee benefits, board governance, and general corporate issues, and also has experience as in-house counsel for a non-profit benefits board in which she provided day-to-day legal counsel on a variety of issues. Additionally, Jewelie spent nine years in human resources at several Fortune 100 companies, counseling management on all aspects of day-to-day human resource activities.

When not advising clients, Jewelie spends time reading, traveling, baking, and spending time with family and friends.

Jewelie believes education is the key to unlocking a person’s future, and is excited to be a part of the Century College Foundation Board.

Mary MacCarthy
Venture Center Program Manager, University of Minnesota


Mary MacCarthy is a Venture Center Program Manager in the University of Minnesota Technology Commercialization. She facilitates healthcare company launches based on Regent-owned intellectual property and manages the university's seed fund. I am able to serve as a connection for Century College to the University of Minnesota system. Besides supporting her daughters' advanced education, she is renovating her house and enjoys attending art events. Mary holds a BA degree from UW-Eau Claire in Psychology and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of St. Thomas. Mary believes "education provided me with context, critical thinking skills, confidence and credentials to pursue all my dreams and support my passions."

Greg Mueller
H.B. Fuller, Director Global SAP


Greg Mueller serves as the Director, Global SAP at H.B. Fuller. In his role, he is responsible for leading the global SAP rollout program for the Company.  When Greg is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family.  He is also enjoys hunting and fishing.  Greg holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a MBA from the University of Portland (OR).  Greg strongly believes that an education is the bridge to a successful future.

Steve Ritt
Vice President, North Star Banks


Steve Ritt is the Chief Financial Officer and Co Chief Executive Officer of North Star Bank, which is a fourth generation family owned and operated community bank located in White Bear Lake and Roseville, MN.

Ritt, 46, as Co-CEO is responsible for providing an acceptable return for its shareholders while also protecting its depositor’s interests, along with overseeing a management team and developing departmental objectives and corporate goals. As CFO he is part of the asset liability management team and is responsible for the financial, capital, and strategic planning of the Bank, along with investing the excess liquidity of the institution.

Ritt has extensive operational and financial experience within North Star Bank and has served on its Board of directors since 2004, and currently serves on all 12 Board appointed committees. He is active in the commercial lending space, a position he has held since 2002, and enjoys helping businesses start, grow, and prosper.

He is an active supporter in the community and serves as Board Member for the Ritt Family Foundation, the Century College Foundation, Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation, Lakeshore Players, and serves on the finance committee of the Greater White Bear Lake Area Community Foundation.

Kim Bowman
Director of Major and Planned Giving, Way to Grow


Kim Bowman serves as Director of Major and Planned Giving for Way to Grow, an early childhood education organization in Minneapolis. She has 25 years of experience in major gift development, planned giving, endowment building and capital campaigns. Outside of work, Kim loves spending time at the cabin and singing with Magnum Chorum, a Twin Cities choral ensemble. She holds a BA in Political Science and an MBA with a finance concentration. Kim believes education is the key that unlocks each person’s potential to learn, grow, thrive and contribute to the community.

Kate Christopher


Bio coming soon.

Laura Keithahn
Vice President Hospital Operations, St. John’s Hospital


Laura Keithahn serves as the Vice President Hospital Operations for St. John’s Hospital, M Health Fairview located in Maplewood, MN. 

In her role, Laura has responsibility for the operations and management of the hospital campus, engaging daily and ensuring optimal quality and experience for patients and their family members.

A highly skilled operations leader with more than 30 years of experience, she is committed to improving how health care is delivered and consistently driving for results.  Laura’s expertise is in hospital strategy, operational innovation and efficiency, financial management and leadership development.  She is a passionate mentor and widely respected for her ability to coach and motivate people.

Laura currently serves as a board member to the Century College Foundation. She also enjoys partnering with other local organizations and government agencies to support the health and well-being of our communities.

A graduate of Radiologic Technology in Dubuque, Iowa, Laura went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Science from Cardinal Stritch University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is also certified in Lean.

Laura believes education is instrumental to grow and develop personally and professionally as individuals.  It opens us to a world of knowledge and equips us with the expertise that is needed to realize our career goals and cultivates us into mature individual capable of planning for the future and making the right decisions in life.

Liz Moscatelli
Executive Director of Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation and Program Consultant for Lead4Change


Liz Moscatelli is currently the Executive Director of Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation and Program Consultant for Lead4Change, a privately-funded student leadership program. Previously, spent over 30 years in publishing with USA TODAY/Gannett as General Manager and Regional Director. I was the board chair of the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center facilitating the merger into the National Child Protection Training Center.

When Liz is not working, she loves being on the lake. When she is home, she is on a boat or pontoon, paddleboard, kayak or canoe. When at the cabin, she’s fishing or waterskiing. In the winter, she enjoys snowshoeing, x-c or downhill skiing and she also  enjoys golf and tennis.  Liz holds a BA in Communications and Business. She believes education gives us opportunity to grow and develop beyond what we think we can. She values Century because “Century College's reputation is stellar, and gives options to students whether in high school or beyond.”

Elizabeth Murry
Academic Coordinator for the Student Support Services TRIO Program


Elizabeth Murry is the Academic Coordinator for the Student Support Services TRIO Program where she works to support college students who are first-generation, low income and/or have disabilities. She holds an MBA from Augsburg University. When she is not working, Elizabeth loves spending time being creative, enjoying nature and learning a range of topics. A first-generation college student herself, Elizabeth finds immense joy in helping other first generationstudents navigate their college journeys, knowing the empowerment, pride and rich value education brings.

Steve Schad
Founder, Optima Advisory


Steve Schad is the founder of Optima Advisory, a firm that places part-time contract HR executives and administrative support in small and mid-sized companies. He has more than two decades of HR executive and organizational development experience working across sectors and industries to help organizations get better results through people. Steve has dealt directly with many workforce issues that are or can be solved through the community and technical college system and joined the board to help advance the mission of Century College and the Foundation in serving our communities and businesses. He received a Bachelor’s Degree, majoring in political science and Russian area studies, from the University of Minnesota. As a small business owner, he doesn’t have a lot of spare time, but when he does, he loves travelling and spending time with his wife of 24 years and two teenage daughters.

Shari Wilson
Executive Director, White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce


Bio coming soon.

2020-21 Board of Directors Meeting Schedule

Meeting times (unless otherwise noted): 8:30 - 10:30 am

  • Thursday, September 17, Zoom Meeting
  • Thursday, November 19, Zoom Meeting
  • Thursday, January 28, Zoom Meeting
  • Thursday, March 18, Planning Retreat: 8:30am - 1:30pm, Location TBD
  • Thursday, June 17, Location TBD

2020-21 Finance & Executive Committee Meeting Schedule

Executive Committee: Melissa Martyr Wagner, Chair; Barb Sheldon, Vice Chair; Russ Flemming, Treasurer; John Channon, Secretary
Finance Committee: Russ Flemming, Chair; Greg Mueller, Ken Baltzer, Sarah Johnson

Meeting times: Finance 8:30 am, Executive 9:30 am

  • Thursday, August 27
  • Thursday, October 29
  • Thursday, December 17
  • Thursday, February 25
  • Thursday, May 20

2020-21 Development & Outreach Committee Meeting Schedule

Development Committee: Steve Schad, Chair; Kim Bowman, Julie Barton, Kate Christopher, Jewelie Grape
Outreach Committee: Liz Moscatelli, Chair; Melissa Martyr Wagner, Shari Wilson, Kay Baker, Mitchell LeGrand

Meeting times: Development 8:30 am, Outreach 9:30 am

  • Thursday, October 1
  • Thursday, December 3
  • Thursday, February 4
  • Thursday, April 1

2020-21 Scholarship Committee Meeting Schedule

Scholarship Committee: Kate Christopher, Chair; Elizabeth Murray, Laura Keithahn, Rebecca Shavlik, Kevin Donovan, Tou Her, Michele Jersak

Meeting times: 4:00 - 5:00 pm

  • Thursday, November 5
  • Thursday, January 7
  • Thursday, May 6